What We Do Here

Here’s a quick rundown of garden news and activities from last spring.

march1

Teacher Training and Leadership

Ms. Rossi attended  Life Lab’s UC Santa Cruz Growing Classroom Workshop, learning hands-on, garden-based lessons linked to Common Core Language Arts and Math and Next Generation Science Standards.

Ms. Janora and Ms. Rossi attended the 2015 Healthier Generation Northern California Summit with the purpose of networking with other school leaders to support improving school nutrition  and physical education. We think that the school gardens can play an important role in teaching students about healthy eating and exercise.

Jamba Juice Work Day and Awards Ceremony

We know one thing: when kids grow it, they eat it!

Fourth-grade students learned about tmarch3he five different food groups and how to eat for optimal health.

march4The Garden Girls prepared fava beans, kale, parsley, and garlic from the garden with rice and shared it with their classmates, promoting healthy food.

Students from Mrs. McLachlan’s class picked kale and made frittatas with parent Barb Cavoto.  The Garden Girls made a Hakuna Matata Frittata for Niah’s healthy birthday celebration. Everyone had seconds, if not thirds.

march5

Garden Activities help students grasp the real meaning of scientific and math concepts. They learn to ask questions and plan investigations.

march6Students in the Learning Center and Ms. Bauer’s class dissected fava beans to learn the parts and functions of a bean seed.

march7

Students grouped insects and spiders into different categories to understand their characteristics.

Second grade students observed fava beans with new hand lenses from National Kids Gardening Association, funded by Jamba Juice.

Math For Real—fourth-grade students read seed packets to determine how to divide up a garden bed on graph paper to ensure proper seed spacing.

The Garden Girls and special guest herbalist Janet De Haven made a salve with Mrs. MacLachlan’s third-grade class. We learned about different medicinal uses of plants growing in our gardens and in the schoolyard, many of which are common weeds, and collected them to make an herbal preparation for our skin. Some students studied specific herbs and reported to the class about their uses.

march8

march9

Students testing different garden soils for mineral and acid content for a science project.

The Garden Girls and Ms. Rossi had the privilege of attending the Goldman Environmental Prize Event at the Opera House in San Francisco. We were so inspired by these heroes from all over the world who work to protect the natural environment, often at great personal risk.

march10

Items Received

From West County DIGS—15 pairs gloves, 30 magnifying glasses, 3 yards compost, 10 trowels, 200 plant labels, 30 plants from the DIGS greenhouse, and 12 clipboards. Madera School lent wheelbarrows and shovels for a workday.

The Jamba Juice grant gave $1,200 in National Garden Association materials, including flower and bug building kits, an inflatable butterfly cycle, two outdoor bulletin boards, six large hand lenses, and a planter box for the upper garden. Jamba Juice also donated $250, which was spent on herb and vegetable starts and supplies for garden lessons.

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